Endocrinology Journal Article

Maternal T Affects Female Offspring Development

November 04, 2019
 

Yu Zhou, Anhong Zhang, Min Gong, Yingfei Lu, Chengcheng Zhao, Xia Shen, Xiaomei Zhang, Lin Wang, Jianquan Chen, Rong Ju
Endocrinology, Volume 161, Issue 5, May 2020, bqz011
https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqz011

Abstract

Hyperandrogenism is considered 1 of the most important characteristics of polycystic ovary syndrome, which affects more than 10% of females of reproductive age and is a common cause of infertility. In addition to the effects on patients themselves, maternal androgen excess has also been reported to impair the growth and development of offspring. In our current study, we found that maternal testosterone (T) treatment during different gestational stages increased the percentage of atretic follicle and decreased corpus luteum formation in female offspring. In addition, decreased serum estradiol and increased T levels were also observed in female offspring of T-treated mice during late gestational stage. Further studies revealed that Forkhead box protein L2 (FOXL2) and Cytochrome P450 family 19 subfamily a member 1 (CYP19A1) expression in granulosa cells of these female offspring mice were decreased. By using mouse primary granulosa cells and the KGN cell line, we demonstrated that decreasing FOXL2 and CYP19A1 levels in ovarian granulosa cells partially may contribute to disturbed sex hormone synthesis in female offspring of T-treated mice during the late gestational stage. Findings from our current study highlight a critical role of excess maternal T exposure, especially during the late gestational stage, which could further lead to aberrant ovary development and sex hormone synthesis in female offspring.

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